Traveling in Hue, the former imperial city and one of the bloodiest battlefields in the Vietnam War, when the whole country is honoring outstanding revolutionary contributors on the occasion of War Invalids and Martyrs Day this July 27. I would like to take this opportunity to share a story of how my family recently found the remains of my uncle, a North Vietnam soldier who died in the battle of Hue in 1968, in which miracle really happened.


My grandparents had 06 children, except the only daughter who died 3 months after birth, all the five boys were sent to the South shortly after joining the military. But when the war ended in 1975, only three of them came back including my Dad. In the following months that year, my grandparents received two certificates of death of their two sons, which had been sent since 1968 and 1972, but they did not arrive until the war is over!


Those certificates notified that my uncles were buried in the southern front line’s cemetery. The locations were not mentioned, as they were treated as military secrets. So we couldn’t find their tombs, because we didn’t know which units they belonged to. We just assumed that they could have died in the DMZ, Khe Sanh, Saigon or anywhere in Laos or Cambodia.



Then a miracle happened in 2010 when my cousin visited the home of his college friend in Hue, he recognized one of our uncles who died in in 1968 in a photo in the living room. Standing next to our uncle were other soldiers and the father of my cousin’s friend. Unfortunately, the friend’s father had passed away a year before. But on the photo, my cousin noticed a handwriting that says: B4, KH4/1968.


It turned out a military code name, B4 indicates Hue War Zone, KH4 indicates the infantry division that was deployed there.


Keep tracking down the information, we found our way to a martyrs' cemetery in the west of Hue city - where my uncle was documented buried there after being relocated twice since 1975. It was a huge cemetery with nearly 4000 tombs, half of them are unknown. But we did not find the tomb of my uncle, as he could turn out to be one of the unknowns!


With the information we got, in 2012 we went to a psychic, who is known for the ability to talk to spirits and see remains buried underground. He had been helping some 2000 families find the remains of the soldiers. We asked him to help us find our uncles.


Following the psychic’s instruction, seven members of my family, including me, sat around our uncles’ portraits with burning incenses. We got our eyes closed to focus on thinking of our uncles. After about 15 minutes of meditating like that, the spirit of one uncle came back and talked to us through my sister. The very first words he said when he was crying to my dad was: “Brother, I got a short right here by a man from the South and I am still hurt, you got to bring me home”!


In the next two hours that day, our conversation with him involved so many questions and answers that we were then convinced it was really my uncle, and his remains could be found at the tomb number 8, row number 9 on the right side of the cemetery we visited. He asked us to go back there and conjure him up for further instructions.


So we went back to the cemetery, the mentioned tomb is a tomb of an unknown soldier. As planned before, we burned incense to conjure him up. He told us to come back at night with something to dig the concrete tomb up, and reminded us that when opening the ceramic coffin in the underground, we will find a rain coat and a soldier shirt covering his remains, the third button on the shirt is still there!


When opening the coffin that midnight, we were so happy and socked! We found the rain coat, the shirt with the third button, and all the remains. The moment when I was carrying my uncle’s remains, I couldn’t imagine that a soldier who died for his country could become that light and humble!


We then quickly drew him back to Hanoi in the night, and when we arrived in my village the next day, the whole village including veterans, military officers and local authorities were waiting for us with a big red banner that says: Welcome our Soldier Home!


I haven’t shared the story with anyone before until we got the result from the DNA test just few months ago, the DNA showed that we share the same ancestor!


Now we are looking for the second uncle, we conjured his spirit up several times, but he came back and left so quick that we couldn’t talk. The psychic experts say that if the soldier got exploded by bombs, it’s harder for the spirit to come back!



Buffalo Joe